A breakthrough in the treatment of ovarian cancer is this week being trialled in Britain. It could save the lives of thousands of women, medical researchers believe.

A joint British-Canadian trial of the new technique, known as intraperitoneal chemotherapy, will be launched at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. Dr Chris Gallagher, who heads the study in the UK, is confident it will show an increase in survival of around 20 per cent.

Ovarian cancer is the fourth most deadly cancer in women in the UK. Dr Gallagher said: "Ovarian cancer tends to spread, or recur, within the abdominal cavity. This way, we have the potential to expose the tumour to much higher concentrations of the drug."